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freezng-foods-msg – 4/28/13


Comments on freezing foods. Good methods.


NOTE: See also the files: food-storage-msg, drying-foods-msg, Lrds-Salt-Exp-art, pickled-foods-msg, potted-foods-msg, stockfish-msg, canning-msg, bag-cooking-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 11:52:46 EST

From: Mordonna22 at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - freezing things


Seton1355 at aol.com writes:

<< Tofu gets tougher, potatoes get softer, tomatoes turn into sauce. >>


And onions get stronger


Mordonna the Cook,

SunDragon's Western Reaches


(m.k.a. Buckeye, AZ)



Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 14:01:08 -0400

From: "Nick Sasso" <NJSasso at msplaw.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Freezing food


I completed my food safety certification this summer (and it was a

hoot), so I I want to add a few documentable cents' worth.  Please be

sure that you are handling the food properly according to food agencies'

guidelines to be sure you are serving safe food.  The general guideline

of thawing before cooking is safe, but not required according to the

June 2002 materials provided by Serv-Safe, the industry standard in

Restaurant Food Safety training.


According to the manual and the standards for the training, thawing of

a food product can be performed as a step in the cooking process, and

the previously cooked food needs to be brought up to 160F in order to be

ensured safe by their guidelines (I can provide chapters and verses if

requested). You should bring the food through the 40F to 140F zone as

quickly as possible, and stir or agitate often.  Boil in bag will be a

challenge if large quantities are brought to heat at once . . . . gotta

ensure even heat distribution for safe reheating.


The key will be to follow safe freezing and storage techniques at the

front end to increase convenience and safety at the back end.  Cool you

food in flat containers, no more than 2 to 3 inches deep, depending on

food item.  If you were to put your food into the bag and then lat flat

to cool then freeze, you will have a much safer reheat on the back end.


Melting is but one issue for plastics. Remember that there is chemical

leeching that can occur before melting. This could lead to anything

from nothing at all to off flavors to your wonderful meal to adverse

physical reactions in diners sensitive to plastics or their degraded

by-products. There are products on the market designed for reheating,

and often can be re-used for economy sake.  So, you get to make the

choice yourself (testing might be good here) as to what products you

wish to store and heat in.


pacem et bonum,

fra niccolo difrancesco



Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 22:38:33 -0500

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: "Phil Troy/ G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] This 'n that


Also sprach Robin Carroll-Mann:

>What is the best way to wrap large quantities of chicken parts for

>the freezer?


It kind of depends on what you're doing with them. If you need to

cook them from a frozen state (which _is_ doable), you should

probably pack them with something like parchment between them, if

appearance matters, so they can be easily separated. Maybe you could

lay them out flat on a sheet pan (or reasonable, freezer-sized,

equivalent), freeze, and then remove and bag them. If for stock, you

could probably just put them in large, heavy zip-lock bags and be

just fine.





From: "MSN" <clarenburg at msn.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] This 'n that

Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 03:06:17 -0800


I just started reading this list so please forgive me if this

information is so commonplace as to be old hat.


When you add stuff to your freezer it warms your whole freezer until the

freezer's compressor eventually cools it again.  When you add a lot of

stuff then the thermal mass becomes large, warming the freezer quite a

lot and requiring a long time to cool back to sub-freezing temperatures.

This has the potential to thaw your other frozen foods which ruins some

(ice cream) and may promote nasty bacterial growth and texture changes

in others.


Moreover, non-commercial freezers do a lousy job of quickly penetrating

more than about two inches into a bag of soup, stew or a heavily sauced

meat dish.  They do a little better with unsauced chicken parts and meat

joints, but not much.  So when you attempt to freeze several bags of

stuff at the same time, the food in the middle of a thick bag -- or

especially in a bag at the middle of a stack! -- will take a *long* time

to cool to freezing and may have ample time to go bad. Keep in mind that

stacking three 2" bags is equivalent to a single 6" thick thermal mass

and the food in the middle will take hours and hours to freeze.


Also remember that the cooling elements in freezers tend to be in the

walls (also in shelves of some upright freezers).  You will want

unfrozen bags to be right next to these elements instead of relying on

other frozen foods to slowly conduct the heat/cold themselves.


But while the freezer is the only way to freeze food, it is not the only

way to quickly cool food.  Be creative and prevent your freezer from

blowing a gasket trying to chill gallons of boiling broth.  A simple

cold tapwater bath will work wonders to bring bags of hot foods below

room temperature.  You can then go further by creating an ice water bath

in a cooler, sink or large pot.  Buying a few bags of ice is *much*

cheaper than ruining a freezer full of food.  The refrigerator is not

usually a great choice for pre-chilling foods because the same

compressor cools both your fridge and freezer (except if you've got a



Finally, exposure to frigid air is what causes freezer burn.  So squeeze

all the air out of your bags before sealing them, and use thicker-walled

bags for longer-term freezing.



   1)  Keep bag contents' thickness to 2" or less.  Bag lengths do not


   2)  Space bags evenly throughout the freezer compartment so they

        will not join to create a larger thermal mass. DO NOT STACK


   3)  Try to place unfrozen bags next to freezer's cooling elements.

   4)  Don't add too much to one freezer at one time.

   5)  Quickly pre-cool bags of food in ice water baths or the


        Never stick a hot bag into the freezer.

   6)  Squeeze out all the air and use thick-walled freezer bags.


Nathan Adelaar

(mka Nathan Clarenburg)



From: "Kirsten Houseknecht" <kirsten at fabricdragon.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 12:41:34 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] freezing


vaccum packing lets you freeze meats better than anything.. and a lot of

veggies too...


now i have a vacuum sealer, but if you DON'T have one......you can get close

by these methods........


1. put food in zip lock bag..... close all but small gap in zipper........

insert clean straw into gap... inhale HARD until the bag forms tightly

around the food. withdraw straw and seal bag.  it takes some practice, but

its what i do when i am freezing my homemade bread (the vaccuum sealer

crushes bread..)


2. submerge the zip lock bag in a pan of clean water.. the water should come

up close to the zipper, but NOT get into the bag. the pressure from the

water forces a lot of the air out.  close the zipper, and dry the bag off

before putting it in the freezer (i didnt once... the bag froze to the

freezer tray)


just for the record.. i adore my vaccuum sealer.  i think they are possibly

the greatest way to store stuff like dried beans and grains..... because i

can keep the blasted bugs out of them (we have a *real* bad problem with

grain moths here)  and i havent had any freezer burn on my frozen foods

since i started using it.





Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 09:54:01 EST

From: KristiWhyKelly at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] making ahead and freezing...

To: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net, sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Yes, it freezes quite well.  Up to 4 months.


Things I've made and frozen.  Salmon in puff paste, assemble and freeze.

Savory Toasted Cheese does a great boil-a-bag as well.  Just  pop the frozen

sauce into hot water, then when warmed squeeze the bag around until  

the sauce is on longer separated.




In a message dated 12/5/2004 8:49:12 AM Eastern Standard Time,

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net writes:


Ok, has  anyone on this list made-ahead applemoys and frozen  it?



Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 18:06:51 -0500

From: Micaylah <dy018 at freenet.carleton.ca>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] making ahead and freezing...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Ok, has anyone on this list made-ahead applemoys and frozen it?

> Any other period dishes that would work frozen ahead? I've had good luck

> with armored turnips (after all, they are just a casserole)...


Losynges and makerouns, tarts, sops, pottages, sauces, frumenty and rice

(vacuum sealed boiling bags), hommous, payne perdue, paté, sawsedge, and so






Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 16:46:08 -0700

From: "Kathleen A Roberts" <karobert at unm.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] making ahead and freezing...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


so many good things to freeze, even salmon and cheese



if you can get hold of the rodale, settlement or any of

the encyclopedic cookbooks of the '50s and 60s, they have

freezer charts for ingredients.  there isn't a lot you

can't freeze, if you do it correctly for the ingredients.


and taters are OOP anyway! ;)





Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 15:56:13 -0800 (PST)

From: Aurelia Rufinia <aureliarufinia at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] making ahead and freezing...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooksansteorra.org>


For my first feast (which was yesterday) I froze the

rabbit pottage, and stage one of the chicken ambrogino

(browned chicken and onons) and chickpea soup.  Other

than intensive work to thaw the stuff, (boil in a bag

never occurred to me) it worked great and everything

tasted nummy (i'm told, I didn't get a chance to eat

most of it.)





Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2009 07:54:20 -0600

From: Susan Lin <Shoshanna at caergalen.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Freezing pom seeds, was newbee cook...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


It also makes for some interesting items in the freezer!  I wanted rutabegas

for Mid-Winter but the farmer's market ended in November so I bought them,

par boiled them and froze them - worked out wonderfully well.


Also berries, the trick is to freeze them on a flat sheet first and then bag

or box them - otherwise you'll likely get a big lump.  They may not be as

firm fresh as the day you picked them but they're still very good to use.





Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 13:26:48 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] freezing flat bread


On Jan 28, 2010, at 1:08 PM, Kerri Martinsen wrote:

<<< Due to things out of my control, I can't make them the night before

the feast (120 of them).


Has anyone had experience in freezing flatbread?

I'm planning on making them on Thursday for feast on Saturday. >>>


You should be able to freeze them with no problem; roti and paratha and chapatis can be purchased frozen. It'll just a question of raw, lightly cooked and then cooked again, or fully cooked, and how they are packed. I'm a big proponent of parchment paper in between the layers.





Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 11:34:13 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Making verjus


On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 11:03 AM, Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net> wrote:

<<< Just sad I can not possibly get fresh pomegranates in March.

Selene >>>



I use pomegranates at the end of February...so what I did this past year was

to buy them when they were in season, seed them and freeze the seeds in

airtight bags (used my sealing machine).  Worked like a charm!





Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 17:32:00 -0600

From: Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] freezing turnips?


I blanched them (okay, maybe a little more than blanched but not fully

cooked) and froze them on cookie sheets and then transferred them to plastic

baggies. It worked out just fine.  I froze them from the summer until

Mid-Winter (second weekend in December) -- no freezer burn.




On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 1:51 PM, Kathleen A Roberts <karobert at unm.edu>wrote:

<<< Does anyone have any experience freezing turnips?  I do have my "go to"

reference, "The Settlement Cookbook" but I thought that I might also benefit

from some voices of experience.


Do cut and size affect the outcome?  Blanched?  Fully cooked?


I will be using them in my Roman feast, mixed with carrots with a wine

sauce, so I would rather not have to mash them in the end.


Yes, a friend grew some for me.  Her husband likes the greens but not the

root, and I was after the roots, so ... win/win!


Cailte >>>



Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 16:48:47 +0000

From: yaini0625 at yahoo.com

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Frozen pomegranate jewels


<<< I have just received a windfall of about two dozen

pomegranates for free (that should take a hunk out of ye

olde feast budget). I was thinking of freezing the



Anyone have any experience with using them after freezing

and thawing?


Cailte >>>


My Mom used to freeze her pomegranates all the time. When she thawed them out she would place them in a colander with a bowl under it to catch any juice. She also froze persimmons.





Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:27:08 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Frozen pomegranate jewels


I purchased several pomegranates last year for an event that comes a couple

of months after they've gone out of season.  I popped the seeds out, put them

on a tray on waxed paper and stuck them in the freezer.  Once they had

frozen, I put them in seal-a-meal bags without vacuuming out the air.  They

worked just fine.  By doing them this way they don't freeze together in one

unpleasant lump.





Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2013 07:36:51 -0600

From: Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] freezing Cream cheese


Yes but in my experience, since the water freezes at a different

temperature, when you defrost it it's never quite the same and depending on

your planned application it may not work so well.




On Sunday, April 28, 2013, Arianwen ferch Arthur wrote:

<<< I recall someone asking about freezing cream cheese and a little of the



I was just going through one of My mothers cookbooks and came across an

article clipped from the Nov 16, 1983 AZ Republic.  "Tips as valuable as

recipes in new cookbook" the cookbook referred to is Everyday and Gourmet

Microwave Cookbook by Marlene Leising.


One time says: "Cream cheese may be frozen.To thaw, remove the foil

wrapper, then cook in microwave 10 to 15 seconds at a time with the dial

set on high. pause between cooking times."


so cream cheese has been frozen...>>>


<the end>

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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org